Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Coming of Age Day is a National Holiday in Japan to celebrate the Shin-Seijin's "New-Adults" (people who turn 20 on that year). This year, Coming of Age Day was held on the 12th of January for people who were born from April 1988 to March 1989.

There is long history to the current Coming of Age day. The holiday was established after World War 2 to encourage and celebrate the independence and birth of adults helping to construct the future of their country. Until the year 2000, Coming of Age Day was celebrated on the 15th of January. Today, it is celebrated on the second Monday of January.

Coming of Age day is a very important once-in-a-lifetime event for the new adults, especially for women. Women on that day wear a traditional Kimono called a Furisode. A Furisode is the most prestigious type of Kimono worn only by unmarried women and is unique in a way that it has very long wings. Although it takes two professionals to assist a woman in wearing a Furisode properly, it is definitely one of the most important pieces of art that express the beauty of Japan. On Coming of Age day, women wearing Furisode can be seen all over the cities. Men, on the other hand, mostly wear black or navy suits on the big day. However, the number of men who wear Hakamas (traditional Japanese clothing for men) has recently been increasing. Both women and men wearing such traditional clothes later attend the Coming of Age Day ceremony that is held in the district that they live in. There, the new adults not only listen to speeches made by the mayor, but also enjoy meeting their old friends.

Overall, Coming of Age Day can definitely be described as an important National Holiday in Japan.

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